The Uffizi Gallery in Florence has announced that it has sued French fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier for “unauthorized use” of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”, an Italian Renaissance masterpiece.
Painted by Sandro Botticelli in the mid-1480s, it depicts the naked goddess Aphrodite standing on a giant shell.
The Gaultier house used the image “on several garments, publishing photos of them on its website and on social networks,” the Italian museum said. It attached screenshots showing a model wearing a pair of trousers with part of the Venus painting printed on the buttocks.
Gaultier used the painting “without permission” and is not paying for royalties, museum representatives said, adding that they will seek compensation. A letter sent to the luxury fashion house in April was ignored, they added.
In some museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, many of the works are in the public domain, meaning they are no longer subject to copyright, reports the AFP.